The plan to invest 25.4 million euros on a regeneration scheme for the Ponent district of Palma has been defended by the town hall, which will be seeking 50% of the funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The project - one for sustainable urban development - covers Es Jonquet, Son Armadans, El Terreno, Portopí, Cala Major and Sant Agustí.
Mayor José Hila insists that the district requires a comprehensive strategy to combat degradation that has occurred in recent years. The plan was discussed at today’s full council session and approved.
Hila and the deputy mayor for the model of the city, Antoni Noguera, have championed a scheme that will tackle deterioration and bring about economic recuperation, energy efficiency, a technological environment and one that is cultural-artistic and touristic. Hila says that all funding opportunities are to be explored, with support coming from the Council of Majorca and the regional government via the law which provides special funds for regional and provincial capital cities as well as from Europe.
Noguera points to characteristics of the district which make it eligible to qualify for European funds. “Urban degradation, lack of facilities and little or no connection with the city characterise these six areas, and this is all the product of years of institutional neglect and administration. That neglect has now ended. Once financial aid is granted, we will begin the process of firming up specific projects with the participation of the local society. We are bringing about a change in the model of city planning and in the way this planning is carried out, which is with the involvement of people who live there.”
A theme of the plan is the use of technologies as part of an integrated development that is line with the concept of intelligent cities. The plan therefore envisages sustainable and clean transport, an improvement to the road system, cycling facilities, pedestrianisation and electric vehicles. In addition, energy efficiency of buildings will be improved so that they conform with the notion of zero consumption (through the use of renewables). There will also be protection and promotion of local heritage - both cultural and natural - and economic and social regeneration to improve conditions for all residents of the district.
The Partido Popular opposition at the town hall has criticised the administration for not having sought consensus with it in approving the plan.